Grassroots political organization calls for repeal of HB 2404 in new referendum

Mike Shipley

On Thursday, March 30, the non-partisan political coalition, Grassroots Citizens Concerned, led by Mike Shipley, Chair of Outright Libertarians, filed with the Secretary of State a referendum that would repeal HB 2404.

Recently signed into law by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey a week prior, HB 2404 adopts stringent rules regarding the hiring, payment, and bonding of paid petition circulators.

“[HB 2404] sets the financial bar for bringing initiatives and referendums to the ballot even higher than it was before,” said Mr. Shipley in a press release.

“This measure effectively silences ordinary people by ensuring that only the most financially privileged people of Arizona may ever place their own legislation before the people.”

Mr. Shipley, and Grassroots Citizens Concerned, are sensitive to the Arizona Legislature’s frequent revisions on laws governing ballot access and signature-gathering.

In 2013, the GOP-dominated Arizona Legislature passed HB 2305 which exponentially increased the signature requirements for candidates running on the ticket of a third party ticket. The impact has been felt within the Libertarian Party; in 2016, only one libertarian candidate made it on the ballot, and the Arizona Libertarian Party is currently involved in a lawsuit against the Secretary of State challenging this law, the press release stated.

“[HB 2305] was passed by a Republican legislature to guard their legislative majority, but when a coalition came together to refer that measure to the ballot they backpedaled, repealed their own bill, and once the election had passed they adopted a new bill, [HB 2404,] that was even worse than the original,” Mr. Shipley said in the release.

Grassroots Citizens Concerned is currently putting together a nonpartisan coalition of petition circulators to get the necessary signatures on their referendum.

The Phoenix Pride Parade and Festival, at Indian Steele Park held the weekend of April 1– 2, marked their first major event raising awareness and gathering signatures for their referendum, the release stated.

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